May 8th is always a hard day for me. No matter how many years go by, it’s still hard.
I once had a wise friend tell me that it was time to let the grief go. When it consumes, you are giving it too much power. And I was. The nine years after my daddy’s death, grief came in waves. Especially in the spring, with the weather warming up and the date looming on the calendar. Everything reminded me of the day he died. I tried to let the grief go, but some things can’t be hurried along. Sometimes God performs a miracle you could never do on your own.
Something happened on the operating table, back in November of 2015. As the surgeon stapled my scalp together, somehow God healed a part of my heart. The nine years of blaming myself for my daddy’s death came to an end. He gave me victory and strength to move on. It wasn’t something I worked on or talked through. It just disappeared.
It got me to thinking about grief and how it’s different for all of us. We process at faster or slower rates than others. There is no right way to grief. There is no acceptable timeline. It is precisely what it is.
The best thing for me to do is tell a story about my daddy. If you know me well or have heard me speak, you know it’s how I roll. And you may have heard this story before… Humor me.
My dad was awesome. He married my mom with three little girls under the age of six. He was the total bachelor when they got married, with a ton of man toys. Ski boats, a sports-car, a motorcycle and a catamaran cluttering up the backyard. One by one he sold them all. There wasn’t time or money with his new family.
Well one day, years later, my sister Michelle asked him if it broke his heart to sell all of his toys. His response spoke of his deep love.
“I traded them all for a BMW.”
We gave him a strange look. He didn’t have a BMW.
Then he explained that a BMW was a Brenda, Michelle, Wendi. And that it was the best thing he ever did.
If you are sad today because you’ve lost someone you love, don’t push the feelings back. Don’t get over it or force yourself to move on. Talk about them. Look at pictures, post your favorite family photo. Tell stories. Remember all the years you were given, all the good times.
Grief will take care of itself.
Much love, Wendi